With user memberships, a store admin can limit access to certain products or product categories, offer special prices, discounts, and tax rates, and give more payment options for certain groups of customers. With the Paid Memberships add-on, a store admin can even sell memberships to customers.
Membership-specific Access to Products and Categories
Sometimes you may need to grant access to a specific product, group of products, or product category only to certain members of your site and hide them from the rest of your site visitors. This can be done using X-Cart’s user memberships feature.
Google will still index hidden products and/or categories, so hiding them from certain types of customers will not affect the ranks.
To hide a category and grant access to it only to certain store members:
1. Locate the category you want to edit in the categories list in the Catalog -> Categories section in your store’s Admin area.
2. Open the category by clicking on its name and scroll down the Category info page to find the ‘Memberships’ field.
3. Click on the ‘Memberships’ field and select the membership value from the drop-down:
4. Click Update to save the changes.
The same steps need to be applied to the products in this category:
1. Open the Catalog -> Products section in the Admin area and the product list, so it shows only the products from the category you require (the one you worked on at the previous step).
This can be done by specifying the category name in the category selector (where it says ‘Any Category’) and clicking Search:
2. In the Bulk Edit drop-down at the bottom of the page, select Price and Membership:
You will be redirected to a new page where you will be able to bulk edit product options.
3. Choose the ‘Memberships’ option and click to specify the membership(s) you need.
4. Save your changes.
That’s all. The category and all products in it are now available for viewing and ordering only to the customers of a certain membership level. A customer with this membership level needs to be logged in to get access to this category/product.
If a non-member tries to open a members-only category page using a direct link, the store will show a "page not found" error. With a members-only product, the store will show an "access denied" error with a link to the ‘Contact Us’ page so the user can contact the store administrator and request the required membership.
Important: A store administrator can only give membership to registered customers (Access Level - Customer) but not to anonymous visitors.
Membership-specific Product Pricing and Minimum Purchase Quantities
It is possible to offer multiple levels of pricing for the same product according to the membership level and the number of product units being ordered. It is also possible to limit the minimum quantity of a product that can be ordered and make this quantity membership dependent. For this, you will need the add-on Wholesale.
Detailed information on using this add-on is available in the section Wholesale.
Membership-specific Discounts, Coupons, and Special Offers
By using memberships, you can vary the discount level between different groups of customers, provide limited edition coupons that will be valid only for a specific membership level, and extend membership sales with special offers.
Membership-specific discounts can be set up using the add-on Volume Discounts via the section Discounts -> Volume Discounts of your store Admin area.
The process of setting up a membership-specific volume discount is rather straightforward:
1. In the Volume discounts section of the store back end (Discounts > Volume discounts), add a new discount.
2. Specify the subtotal amount starting from which the discount will be available, set the discount amount (select an absolute value or a percentage) and select the membership level that a customer must have to use the discount.
3. Save your changes.
Note: More info on volume discounts is provided in the section Volume Discounts Add-on.
Membership-specific coupons can be configured using the add-on Coupons via the Coupons section of your store Admin area (Discounts > Coupons).
To configure a coupon that only members will be able to use:
1. Open the Coupons section of your store Admin area (Discounts > Coupons) and click the New discount coupon button:
2. Scroll down the coupon details page and locate the Membership field.
3. Click on the field and select the applicable membership value from the drop-down.
4. Save your changes.
If a non-member uses a members-only coupon at checkout, they will get an error message like the following: “Sorry, the coupon you entered is not valid for your membership level. Contact the administrator.”
Note: More info on coupons is available in the section Coupons Add-on.
Membership-specific Special Offers
By using these add-ons, you will be able to provide the following special offers to your member users:
Buy N items from specified categories to get a discount on M of them (the cheapest ones). If the discount is set to 100%, your customers will get the items for free.
Spend a certain amount in specified categories to get a discount on M of the items bought from these categories (the cheapest ones).
To configure the offers, you will need to have the corresponding add-ons installed as described in Installing Add-ons from X-Cart App Store. Once the add-ons are installed, the features will become available in the Discounts -> Special Offers section of your store Admin area.
To create an offer that will be available only to site members:
1. Start creating a special offer specifying all the necessary offer details as described in the section Special Offers.
2. In the ‘Conditions’ section of the special offer details, specify the membership level(s) the offer should be available to. This can be done via the ‘Eligible membership levels’ field.
3. Save your changes.
For detailed information on the setup of special offers, refer to the section Special Offers.
If some of your clients need to be given special tax rates or have an exemption from paying the sales tax, you can adjust your store to meet this need by setting up tax rates specifically for different membership levels.
To set membership-specific tax rates:
1. Go to the Store Setup -> Taxes section of your store’s Admin area to set up taxes.
2. When configuring taxes, make sure the option ‘Use the same tax rates for all user membership levels’ is disabled.
3. Create a new tax rate or edit an existing one specifying the required membership.
4. Be sure to save your changes.
A detailed description of the tax configuration process is available in the section Taxes.
Membership-specific Payment Methods
With the add-on Memberships for payment methods, you will be able to give additional payment options to certain groups of customers in your store; for example, to enable PayPal Express Checkout for wholesale buyers only.
Once the add-on has been installed, a special ‘Memberships’ field will appear under each payment method in the Store Setup -> Payment Methods section of your store’s Admin area.
You will need to use this field to specify the membership the payment method should be available. Then, at checkout, your customers will be able to see only the payment methods available to their membership group.
The standard membership feature can be extended using the add-on Paid Memberships. This add-on enables you to sell paid memberships as regular products. If your customers may be willing to pay for member access to advanced buying options - like closed sales, VIP prices, and exclusive discounts - this add-on may be just the thing for you.
To enable paid memberships, make sure the add-on is installed as described in Installing Add-ons from X-Cart App Store. Once the add-on is installed, you can create memberships as products and sell them to your customers.
To create a paid membership:
1. If you have not yet done so, add the membership that you wish to offer to your customers as a paid one.
2. Go to the ‘Catalog > Products’ section of your store’s Admin area and choose to add a new product.
3. On the page that opens, specify the product details you require, such as name, SKU, description, etc., just like any regular product in your store.
4. To turn the product into a paid membership, use the setting Membership to assign to product purchaser in the main section of the product details page. Specify the membership that your customers will be able to get by purchasing this product and set the period the membership will be granted by adjusting the setting Membership duration.
5. If necessary, you can make the new membership visible only to the existing members of your site. Use the Membership field in the Prices & Inventory section of the product details page to specify the membership to which the new level-up should be available.
6. Save the changes.
Once created, the paid membership will become available for sale, and your customers will be able to purchase it.
If anonymous checkout is enabled in the store, and a buyer of premium membership access chooses to check out without creating an account, the membership will not be assigned to that buyer automatically until an account is created for them. Instead, the store administrator will be notified of such orders with an “action required” warning.
After the order gets the status ‘Paid,’ the customer will get the membership they have purchased automatically and will be able to access all the membership-specific privileges right away.
When the membership expires, the customer will get an email notification.
Email notifications for the Paid Membership add-on can be managed via your store Admin area (Store setup > Email notifications).